Image from This Is Glamorous
Every Christmas, I come up with a list of my Favorite Things, clearly inspired by Oprah. I give different combinations of these gifts to my friends and family for Christmas. Since I was busy this week “building content” for the blog (AKA too busy to blog!), I wanted to post a Thanksgiving-inspired list of my favorite FREE things – experiences and items that are free which I’m thankful for.
1. Looking at photo vignettes including some combination of the following: coffee in a mug, wine in a glass, book or magazine, laptop, a cozy couch, soft blanket, roaring fire. Bonus points if a Parisian dessert is featured. I think it just transports me into the relaxing moment, wherever I am. My favorite blogs that frequently include these pictures are The Mannequin and Classy in the City. Instagram usually has something, in particular, follow Paris In Four Months (also has a blog).
2. The smell of salt water. As a Seattle native, I grew up going on boats and have lived within walking distance of a marina for the last several years. It just smells so fresh and so clean clean!
3. When the house smells good. I am partial to amber/spice/fig type scents, but this time of year, I’m all about the pine needle smell and orange cinnamon. I am currently using an amazing Glade plugin that makes the house smell of Christmas trees, though ironically called Fall Walk or something like that (can’t find a link – bum bums!). I am eager to try this new DIY Clementine Candle as well. I also love the way dinner in the oven makes the house smell – doesn’t necessarily have to be a candle involved.
4. Walking through Watson Kennedy. See entire blog post devoted to this subject here. I’m sure you all have some destination that just tickles your creative fancy.
5. Google Image baby animals. Do it. It’s a great 3 p.m. mental break at work – I do this at least twice a week.
6. Re-purposing old furniture or doing crafts using supplies I already have. A simple example of this would be taking an old picture frame, painting it another color, and putting my new wedding pictures in it.
7. Sleeping in and waking up to cool, crisp air. So often (especially now that I permanently share a bed), the air ends up a bit… stuffy. I love cracking the window just a tad so that my face feels refreshed the rest of me is engulfed in layers of fuzzy blankets and down, especially if it’s past 9 a.m.
8. When someone brings in treats to work, or if there’s lunch leftovers from a meeting.
9. Laying out on the beach.
11. Making Lists. Didja see that coming?!
I started building this list when I did a women’s group study on One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. The premise is that you write down at least one thing you are thankful for each day – “embrace and chronicle everyday blessings” – so that you can find moments of joy in the midst of our chaotic lives. At times it got a little artsy fartsy for me — sorry, I’m just not going to get that excited about wind whistling through a mountain top accompanied by the smell of fresh moss (this is an example I made up, but perhaps you get the idea). The book comes with a free app where you can record your own moments of joy, and once those moments are your own versus reading the author’s, it becomes a lot more fun.
What are your favorite free things? Have you read anything that inspired you to be grateful?